A family vacation is supposed to be a time to get away from the daily grind and enjoy a stress-free break. However, kids, especially infants, can put a damper on the carefree notion of traveling. Does that mean you shouldn’t take a family vacation? Absolutely not!
Part of the fun and anticipation of a vacation is knowing where you’re going. Instead of bearing the brunt of all the work, get input from the family. If your children are older, get ideas from them on where they think a fun vacation would take place. Make a list of a few different destinations and see which one has the most appeal.
Share your work with your partner. Divide your prep work; decide who will make which reservations and what your travel plans entail. Before packing, make lists of things you absolutely need to have, just keep in mind the less important items can be picked up if you forgot them. As long as you have the necessities like your breast pump bag and family medications, everything else pales in comparison.
Traveling With An Infant
If you’ve never traveled with young children before, check with other parents of small children to see if they have any tips they can offer. The beauty of soliciting advice from others who have “been there, done that” is to learn from them what works and what doesn’t. The best way to attempt something you’re not familiar with is to seek advice from those who already have.
Choose an airline that is child-friendly. Although all airlines will take your money, some are more accommodating to traveling with children than others. When speaking with other parents, find out what their experiences were with particular carriers and go from there. Also, take advantage of traveling with a child on your lap. Most domestic airlines will not charge airfare for a child under 2 if it doesn’t require their own seat. The more you save on getting to your destination, the more you’ll have to spend once you get there.
Keep To Routine
The benefits of getting your infant on a routine are priceless; keeping that routine when traveling will benefit both you and your child. Try to find a flight time that marries up with your baby’s schedule. Especially when breastfeeding, it’s important to make sure you are both as rested and eating as best you can. Having the ability to pump breast milk will help both you and your baby be more comfortable.
Reach out to the hotel ahead of time and see if they have a mini-fridge available for you to store breast milk. While you’re at it, ask them if the fridge can be cooled before your arrival so you can use it as soon as you get there. Most hotels won’t charge you extra for a mini-fridge in your room if it is to accommodate a medical necessity or storing breast milk.
If you end up getting off schedule because not everything can be planned or go as you’d hope, don’t beat yourself up. You can get back on track when you return home. The most important part of vacation is to enjoy yourselves, make memories and try to relax.
One of the first things to go to the wayside when looking after small children is yourself. Self-care is essential. You didn’t go on vacation to continue to be sleep-deprived and stressed out. Make sure you schedule some time for yourself as well. Take advantage of any opportunities to rest; happy and rested parents are patient and fun parents!